Fancy taking a trip to Japan without the long haul flight? Now you can. Well, sort of. London is getting a new cultural destination on High Street Kensington, celebrating all things Japanese. Set over three floors, Japan House will bring the East Asian country to life through art, food, design, talks and workshops.
The space is decked out with a gallery, a library, shop, events space and restaurant. From the sleek interiors to the traditional tea served in the café, Japan House prides itself on being authentically Japanese – even the building’s spiral staircase was imported from Japan and assembled piece by piece (y’know, like a Lego set, but weighing in at over 19 tonnes).
The gallery will host a series of exhibitions and first up is Sou Fujimoto whose work looks at the future of architecture. The contemporary architect designed the Serpentine Pavilion back in 2013 but this is his first solo show in the UK.
Elsewhere, the library will host ‘bookshelf exhibitions’ with themed selections curated by book specialist Yoshitaka Haba. Once you're done perusing the shelves, head to the shop where everything from stationery to kitchenware has been sourced from specialist makers in Japan so you can take a bit of the country home with you.
On the food front, you can grab and go at The Stand, where they’ll be serving up traditional tea and snacks as well as matcha and hojicha lattés. If you fancy something more substantial, get comfy at Akira, where Japanese chef Shimizu Akira is at the helm. Sample authentic dishes including sushi, rice prepared in a traditional clay pot and chargrilled skewers of wagyu beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables cooked on a charcoal grill. Then wash it all down with creative cocktails made with rare sake, yuzu and shiso. Kanpai!
Find out more about Japan House.
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